The Fresh Loaf

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Susan in San Diego's sourdough

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AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Susan in San Diego's sourdough

Susan, I can't remember where you posted this recipe - and I have scrolled back without success trying to find it. You were suggesting someone give it a try and of course I had to jump right in as well. I have to say the dough didn't look very promising and it was rock hard after a night in the frig. However, after sitting on my little propane stove for 2 1/2 hours it had finally warmed slightly and I decided to bake. It really didn't look like much, but I went ahead and slashed it and covered it with the ss mixing bowl as directed. I have to tell you I was totally gobsmacked when I removed the bowl! Fantastic oven spring and when I took it out (205*) the crust was shiny and crisp with lots of lovely "freckles". I have to keep going into the kitchen to check it out. I have a question: why couldn't I use my stone instead of the cookie sheet? I'm not complaining, just curious. Can't wait to check out the crumb, thanks again, A.

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AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Hi Susan, had some of the bread with soup for supper and it was delicious - and the crust was still crisp, a first for me. The crumb is interesting, with lots of huge holes, almost but not quite like the lazy baker's space. Now I am wondering whether I should have let the dough proof until it was really warmed and maybe more risen? Would that have made the holes more evenly distributed? So much to learn, but so much fun too, A.

Susan's picture
Susan

Sorry to be so long; just saw your message. I stopped using my stone because it took so long to preheat the oven and, using the Magic Bowl, it didn't seem to make any difference in the bread. If I were you, I wouldn't worry about whether the proofed dough is cold or warm. Try it both ways and see what works best for you. I like holes and blisters, too. I find I get better distribution of holes when my dough rises in a banneton rather than on the counter. Thanks much for your kind words and for trying the recipe.

Susan from San Diego

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Susan, how funny - I have another loaf of "your" bread in the frig ready for baking tomorrow. This time the dough was much more lively and I'm sure it was because my starter is stronger. This is my SourdoLady starter and it is really full of pep. I am helping in my grandaughter's 3rd grade class in the morning so I will leave the loaf to proof while I'm gone, only for an hour or so.

Don't know whether you ever said what area of S.D. you live? I lived in San Carlos for years and owned Windsor Counting House the cross stitch store. Then I moved to the college area. Seems like a lifetime ago, A.

Susan's picture
Susan

But, Annie, it's YOUR bread now!  I hope it turns out exactly like you want.  I am proofing one right now with some oatmeal and whole wheat in it.  We are in Prescott, AZ until Thursday, when we head over to Paso Robles for a few days.  Then south to San Diego.  We live in Kensington, on the mesa just above the old stadium and are still "new" residents, having lived in SD only since 1998.  

Susan from San Diego

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Susan, in my rush to get to school and being a bit nervous as it was my first day of volunteering - I forgot to take the bread out of the frig. So now it is sitting on top of my little propane stove with a folded towel underneath so I don't think it will get too warm. What a small world - I followed my son and his wife to Flagstaff and lived there for a while and love Prescott. Do you have any altitude problems with baking? I didn't ever have a problem but then I wasn't baking "real" bread back then. My other son lives in Paso Robles and we spent a year there before heading back north. I always say we took the long way to Whidbey Island from Leaburg, OR, via Paso! That's the son who bakes, in a manner of speaking. I sent him some of my starter and he definitely doesn't fuss over it. I have tried to offer some gentle guidance but I guess it's a son thing and he doesn't listen. Have a safe trip to Paso, A.

Susan's picture
Susan

Best wishes for your rising dough.

Ah, that bugaboo, altitude. There's a photo online somewhere of my multiple bread failures here in Prescott. Here it is! At least, it is on that page, and if you've not seen the page before be sure to read all about our flops! I really think that my problem was unhappy starter. My starter is very happy now and so am I.

If you have any hints for me about going from sea level to altitude I would be glad to know them. Every time we come to Prescott for two to three weeks I get altitude sickness symptoms that are medically minor but extremely irritating. The only help I have found is drinking way more water than I usually do. But then I slosh when I walk! DH doesn't seem to have the problems I do with altitude. I understand that it takes 6 months to a year to fully acclimate, but I never have that much time.

Of all the places you've lived, which is your favorite? (Not counting the draw of grandchildren!)

Susan from San Diego

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

I don't think the second batch was quite as good as the first one. For some reason I sprayed the loaf with water and it came out with a funny glazed crust and didn't get the same oven spring. All the more reason to try again, right? I posted a blog entry about today's baking adventure so I won't bore you with it here. I went to visit Flagstaff a few times before I moved there and had very mild altitude problems which went away after a day or two. My elderly mama came to visit from England and suffered much more. I don't know what the answer is, sorry. More water is usually good for what ails you. I have been thinking about your question all day ( on and off) and I think I would have to say Leaburg, OR. My son built me what I thought was my forever house, right on the McKenzie River. While I love Whidbey Island, it is a pain to have to go on the ferry to shop for anything better than KMart's offerings. I live in Langley and we have a wonderful quilt store and a decent library and an excellent non-chain bookstore - but no kitchen store. I belonged to the Fiber Arts Guild in Eugene, and Emerald Valley Quilt Guild - and there was Thai food! But on the other hand, I feel as though The Fresh Loaf is family and friends and I am so happy I found it. Thank you Floyd! And all of the members who take the time to help out a novice but enthusiastic baker, A.

Susan's picture
Susan

to have a comfortable online place, especially if you feel somewhat isolated.

We are trying to figure out where to settle when retirement comes around. SD is so easy, but way too many people for me. I'm yearning for something verdant and with more space around me. DH would be happy with AZ or CA, I think. We need to spend some time in Northern CA, Oregon and Western NC/VA before we come to a decision. We may have become too 'Left Coast' to return to the Southeast. I'd like to have a forever house, but as you know, it doesn't always work.

Sorry you had a hard time with the Pagnotta, it is a delicious bread. Just keep on baking...

Susan from San Diego